Doing It Online… Home Security.

Posted on June 30, 2010 by Onlooker.
Categories: Neutral, Positive, negative.

Fun, and not so fun. This last Friday our family vacation home in Lehigh Acres, FL was broken into. This became newsworthy because of my actions ~2000(road) miles away in Nova Scotia.

Around sunset, I logged into my remote power switch and decided to leave a window AC unit running a bit to help dehumidify the place. Hours later I noticed the backyard motion sensor light go off, but didn’t see anything in the still image and since it wasn’t unusual for animals too trigger the light, it was ignored. Turns out it was the Human Animal.

c3-640fc20100625231225503c4-640fc20100626120301894A few minutes later I lookup(Likely from email motion notification beep from front camera(less often)) to see a burglar in our living room! WTF rings in my head, seconds later I find the Lehigh Police number(That I requested when 911 is not available(911 is only good locally and never on skype)), logged into the remote power switch, turned on the loud Shop-Vac(Wish I had footage of that), and stereo, turned off the AC unit(didn’t want them staying comfortable), a second later their was no response from the house. I then dialed the police using my Skype(Terribly bloated, invasive software/interface but good price($65/yr “unlimited” CDn/US Calling + dialin #)) account at 11:18pm; I gave the site address and my real location and callback numbers immediately, and proceeded to give as best verbal information about the buglers as I could. She kept me on the line until a detective reported being on-site at which point the call ended with the understanding the detective would be calling me back.

Detective Daniel Bray, called me several times exchanging email and information updates, thankfully he was tech savvy and was able to check images emailed to him on-site positively identifying one of the suspects who were pulled over as they were driving away with headlights off(On: wouldn’t have helped them blend-in any, as traffic is very low). The detective was also able to email me photos taken from outside the suspects car of equipment I could easily identify as my stolen property, and later condition of house.

The suspects were charged, and I was later emailed documents which were signed and returned. I am waiting to see what happens. Apparently it is not uncommon for break-in suspects to get bail and never be seen again. They are also even known to return to the crime site before doing so… To get what they missed… I was advised to secure the location as soon as possible.

c1-640fc20100625144210519Hindsight: One or more of the criminals seems to have driven by earlier in the day, apparently casing the place. A living room light was on, curtains(non-see-through, only the light) closed, window AC unit running, grass mowed(Basically just how it is when I am there!)… They were reported to have entered through the bedroom window armed with a taser and tools. Had I been there, it could have ended very badly, as I would say they had to have considered the building potentially occupied.

I also probably shouldn’t have turned on the shop-vac/stereo, this likely would have given the police more time to catch them IN the building(Or even surprise them). Tho. perhaps the distraction had caused them to leave sooner, causing less loss/damage overall.

Other Thoughts:
If the adrenalin rush from seeing(remotely) buglers in our house had given me a heart attack(died), would that be an additional charge against them?

The Rovio didn’t do much good at all, except for a distraction. Perhaps if I noticed them earlier I could have logged into it and gotten an audio feed, or manually snapped additional pictures. Software on Rovio really needs to be updated for basic motion detection and ‘position lock’, so it doesn’t roam(to find base station) on power failure.

Update: 3 Days after the arrest at least one of the perpetrators was released, bail apparently. I was notified by an automated victim notification system.

Update: Other one was released on bail a couple days after the first, It has since been over a month and their first court appearance… To much freedom if you ask me for the so obviously guilty, and hiding the identity of a cohort. If they stay free, run, or get a slap on the wrist the legal system in my book is worthless; less-than actually as it protects the criminal from retribution.

Security Images bundled into a Video file: Burglary-June-2010

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